Q&A WITH JOSEPH ABBOUD
Q: What is the first thing you want to do as Chief Creative Director?
A: As Chief Creative Director, I want to move Men's Wearhouse forward on the fashion curve and be a leader in the industry. I'm not talking about fashion as in faster, trendier, transient things. Actually, I think that "style" is more enduring than fashion. More timeless. So I want us to be more forward in a very wearable way. I want to bring creative culture to the company.
Q: More and more these days, we are seeing guys wearing suits who don't seem like the type of guy who would voluntarily choose to suit up. Where do you think this new trend is coming from?
A: There's a cool factor now about buying suits that I haven't seen in really long time. Suits today are really interesting. Isn't just the Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 guy on the train anymore. I'm really excited that the young guy wants to get dressed up. He might want to do it on his own terms, be more irreverent about how he wears it, and we shouldn't be locked in to the old rules about the suit.
It used to be all the guys would be at the bar with their suit on and the guy with the leather jacket would get the girl. Now it's all the guys with leather jackets at the bar and the guy with the suit gets the girl.
Q: What is it about suits today that make more men want to wear them?
A: It's kind of a cool flip on all this casualization. Getting dressed up is kind of sexy. I like that. A young, good-looking guy wearing a suit is a cool thing. A guy getting dressed up says a lot about the guy. The suit is a sexy thing if you want to make it that.
Q: What is the most common style mistake men make, and how can it be fixed?
A: The one mistake men make when they buy something new is they want it to look new. One of my favorite lines is that you never want the suit to walk into the room before you do.
When you buy clothes, they should fit your job, your personality and your style. It's great to evolve and buy the newer suit, the slim fit suit, but you've also got to dress age appropriately. That doesn't mean you're any less stylish or any less fashionable. But sometimes men try to go so far out of their comfort zone that it looks like the clothes still have their hangers in them. Don't buy out of your comfort zone and if you do, just move the needle gently.
Style is bigger than one fashion statement.